Thursday, May 16, 2013

Azure Standard

Monday, April 29, we drove south on 197 from The Dalles to Dufur, OR. This is a beautiful drive winding through hills that are farmed with crops and orchards, except for the very steepest parts. It's strange for us to see wheat on a mountainside instead of on a flat 80 or larger Kansas field. Mount Hood in the distance was a sight to behold!

Back home in Pratt, we've been part of a food co op that delivers bulk and organic food once a month form Oregon. We were less than a half hour from Azure Standard's greenhouse and orchards, so we went for a personal tour of part of their operation. This location is the original homestead and office. The warehouse is up and around the next ridge, probably 2 hours away. David Selzer himself showed us the dormant cherry and apple production lines (because they're not in season yet). He showed Shannon the wood gas contraption that is used to heat the greenhouse. Then we entered the steamy warm growing area. Cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes are the main crops produced inside. All along the front were various tropical plants one of the sons was experimenting with. Very neat to see what a papaya, mango, avocado, pineapple, banana, starfruit, fig etc. grows like!

sign at the drive

David gave us a biology lesson on soil and living microbes that are essential to healthy plants. He even dug some dirt for us to sniff and see the worms & bugs his handful contained.

green papayas on the tree

vining cucumbers and 1 exotic fruit on the right

banana tree

a worker picking tomatoes

tomato plants producing for their 3rd year

moist soil sample

one last view of Mount Hood

the rolling farmed fields
Back at the Columbia River Gorge, we drove through Historic Downtown The Dalles and looked at the murals painted on the sides of buildings...Ancient Indian Fishing Grounds, Northwest Trading Center, Lewis & Clark Expedition, Peace Treaty of 1885, Oregon Trail and paddleboat depictions. 

Pulpit Rock
This mural was on the side of the Salvation Army Thrift Store :)
We moved eastward beside the Columbia River, seeing more dams and windmills and the ever-going trains. Impressive to see God's created forces and his gift to man to use it!

The Dalles Dam

John Day Dam

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